One of my clients recently closed a significant seed round. Totally amazing. But it gets better.
During one of his first meetings with his new investors, they were blown away as he laid out how everyone in the company was locked-in on the company vision, and knew exactly what their key objectives were for the quarter and year.
Not only that, the team was measuring progress weekly, coming together to quickly identify and solve issues and building amazing velocity.
The investors remarked, "This is the kind of operational excellence that we see in maybe 1% of the Seed Stage companies we invest in."
So how does this happen? How does a company that is still early in its development create this amazing level of Clockwork Execution?
It adopts a business operating system.
Just like computer operating system that runs everything behind the scenes, balancing hardware resources with the demands of the user, businesses have operating systems as well.
This is especially true for early stage companies that are getting traction. They often move from an "oral tradition" way of operating that mostly worked when there were only three or four people in the company.
But once the team starts to grow, the early ways of operating the company start to break down.
Stuff starts going a little sideways. You are grinding harder than ever, but...
... Growth feels harder.
... Profitability becomes more elusive.
... New people don't seem to fit as well as the original team.
... People on the original team seem to not be fitting like they used too.
... Everything feels a little (or a lot!) out of control.
For most business owners, their operating system is a collection of processes that often emerge in reaction to their most recent business challenges.
Or the most recent business book they've read.
But the way they are operating is more a collection of incremental systems than a cohesive playbook that lays out the expectations for each person on the team, at each moment of the game.
What if rather than roll your own, there was an off-the-shelf business operating system that you can use to run your business?
Over the past five years, two off-the-shelf business operating systems that cover the “full stack” of running a business, from high level strategy, to hiring, setting goals, identifying issues, and even running meetings.
Traction, written by Gino Wickman introduces the Entrepreneurs Operating System or EOS. Scaling Up, by Verne Harnish describes the Rockefeller Habits as its system.
If you haven't yet, check out my white paper comparing the two, check it out here.
I turned my client onto Traction and he adopted it full out. It took a big investment of time and energy for him to get the team on board. Some team members resisted the level of structure it required.
But once they got into the groove, everyone saw that it was enabling the company to move geometrically faster.
New people get integrated super quickly and gel with the team.
Everything feels in sync and in flow.
They are hitting their milestones and their investors have been blown away.
And he's doing it all with less grinding effort on his part.
That's the power of Clockwork Execution, and why it's one of The Five Rules for Rocket Ships.
PS Are You Rocket Ship Ready?
The Rocket Ship Assessment is based on real world experience scaling startups from idea to multi-million dollar exits. Find the weak points in your business and get free actionable feedback on how to accelerate your business! Take your free assessment here.